Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang has asked petrol producers and agencies to speed up the distribution of E5 bio-fuel to meet a deadline set by the Prime Minister.

According to the PM’s Decision 53/2012/QD-TTg, the E5 bio-fuel (traditional petrol mixed with 5 percent ethanol) will be rolled out on national scale by the end of 2015.

Seven cities and provinces including Hanoi, central Da Nang City and Ho Chi Minh City will take the lead in developing the fuel.

Deputy Director of the ministry's Science and Technology Department Nguyen Phu Cuong said that except for PetroVietnam Corporation and Sai Gon Petro, most petrol and oil enterprises had not actively developed distribution.

Deputy general director Nguyen Sinh Khang from PetroVietnam said the Government has only issued preferential policies to encourage bio-fuel production but has not supported a distribution system.

In fact, only 175 out of 12,000 petrol stations nationwide sell E5 bio-fuel. These are owned by PetroVietnam and Sai Gon Petro. Meanwhile, Petrolimex, a petrol supplier accounting for 50 percent of the domestic market share, has made no investment.

Explaining the tardiness, a representative from Petrolimex said the corporation is studying investment plans to choose the most efficient because investment in bio-fuel distribution requires a huge amount of money.

Despite the tardiness by petrol producers, Deputy Minister Quang told producers and relevant agencies to enhance cooperation and jointly tackle difficulties.

He said the deadline should not be extended because national energy security and the livelihoods of cassava growers all depended on popularising bio fuel.

He ordered companies to detail their investment plans and submit them to the ministry before June 5.

The deputy minister also asked the Domestic Market Department to study petrol trading management to create favourable conditions for bio-fuel production and distribution.

To promote the consumption of E5 bio-fuel, local producers suggested that people's awareness of benefits of the product should be raised through a national programme.-VNA